Paleo Veggie Quiche

IMG_5272Here it is! My take on a paleo veggie Quiche! (I am not saying it whole30 for sure since I’m not sure if its ok to make a paleo-fied pie crust on whole30. See SWYPO. (shoving old unhealthy foods into a paleo mold. For me, I think this is just a new way to eat eggs, but what do I know?)) Anyway I am excited about this and it’s so good! As soon as I’m done with whole30 I plan on making a paleo apple pie with this crust for 4th of July, yay ‘Merica! I had pinned a few different version of paleo pie crust on pinterest, but I wanted to make my own version and incorporate almond flour and coconut flour. It turned out way better than I thought it would for a first attempt at paleo pie crust. Heck, pie crust in general! I am usually a pillsbury roll and bake crust kinda girl, but no longer! This was really easy even for a novice crust maker. The fillings were just my whim and what I happened to have in the fridge, but I’m pretty sure as long as you have a similar amount of veg you could make this with just about anything. Keep in mind water content in your veggies, like tomatoes, since they can make a soggy mess if not precooked. I ate this as a side dish today, but you could always add some cooked meat (chicken, sausage, bacon, ground turkey, whatever) and up your protein content and eat it as a meal. The crust held up really well as I was picking up my slices and shoving them into my face, so that’s a plus for if you want this as a quick breakfast on the go. Don’t be intimidated by the steps and ingredients, it wasn’t that hard, go make this!!

Paleo Veggie Quiche

Yield: 16 small or 8 large servings/slices

Nutrition per small (1/16th) serving

Calories 134

Fat 9.2

Sodium 300 mg

Carbs 6.3 g

Fiber 3 g

Sugars 1.1 g

Protein 7.2 g

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Ingredients

For Crust

*I always weigh my flours for consistency, especially since I don’t ever sift them

1 ½ cups (168 g) blanched almond flour/meal

½ cup (56 g) coconut flour

½ tsp arrowroot powder

½ tsp kosher salt

2 TB coconut oil + extra for the pie plate

6-9 TB ice cold water

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For Filling

6 extra large whole eggs, preferable farm fresh (they taste better I swear!)

6 extra large egg whites

¼ cup water

½ tsp coconut oil

272 g or 2 large leeks, diced

81 g or 1 large carrot, spiral sliced or shredded

121 g or 5-8 asparagus spears, diced

6 oz or 5 large florets broccoli, diced

1-2 tsp kosher salt, to taste

cracked black pepper to taste

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Assembly:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil, about 1/2-1tsp.
  • To make the crust: Weigh/measure out your flours, arrowroot starch and salt into the bowl of a food processor or large bowl. Pulse a few times or mix to get everything incorporated. Add in the 2 TB of room temperature coconut oil and pulse again. Or use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the oil into the flour mix, making pea sized crumbs. Add in ice water a TB at a time, pulsing after every addition to check consistency. At 8 TB mine had gathered into a solid dough and I was able to take it all out of my processor in one ball. Place the dough ball between two sheets of wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll into a 9-10 inch circle, or whatever fits your pie plate. Peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip the crust into your prepared pie plate. Peel off the remaining layer of wax paper and gently press your dough into the pie plate. Pinch the edges or use a fork to create a decorative edge. At this point I put my crust into the fridge to await its filling. Not sure if that necessary, but it worked great for me.
  • For the filling: Dice your veggies while heating a saute pan with ½ tsp coconut oil. Saute the veggies until tender crisp, seasoning with 1 or 2 tsp kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I did this to get rid of any excess water in the veggies so I wouldn’t have a soggy quiche. While the veggies are cooking crack your eggs into a large bowl and add a scant ¼ cup water, some kosher salt and pepper (always season every part of your dish, especially eggs, because they can be bland). Whisk eggs vigorously until yolk and white are mixed and a bit frothy.
  • Take crust from refrigerator and spread veggies evenly over the bottom. Pour eggs over the top of the veggies and use a spatula to spread into any drier areas.
  • Put your quiche into the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. Your quiche will not be done but you want to keep an eye on the crust so it doesn’t burn. Mine needed a pie shield after 20 minutes but aluminum foil around the edge works fine too. The quiche should be done in 45-60 minutes, or until the middle has lost its jiggle and a knife comes out clean. You may need to cover the whole top with foil if it cooks too quickly and the middle isn’t done.
  • Let your quiche rest outside of the oven for about 5-10 minutes so everything has time to cool and set properly. Cut into desired amount of slices and consume!IMG_5273

I already have so many more veggie and meat combos in mind-spinach artichoke bacon anyone?? I also think the addition of herbs would be great, maybe some fresh thyme or rosemary in with the eggs or some fresh basil over the top once its out of the oven. I can’t wait to make this again!

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Pecan Butter changed my world.

I went on a nut butter rampage recently. Ever since I saw a post on Pinterest a few months ago about doing it yourself I’ve had it on my to do list. If that’s how you are, push that sucker right up to the top of your list! I started with Almond butter and put a little salt and honey in it. delightful, but not overwhelmingly better than my store bought Mara Natha brand. Then I tried roasted Pecan butter. Ohhhhhhhh my lord. I can.not.stop eating it! I’ve been putting it on anything I can think of. Like a spoon. I have two versions, one with honey, and one without. I just started Whole 30 yesterday, so am only eating the one without honey currently. If you aren’t restricting your sugar intake though I highly recommend the pecan butter with honey. I seriously think about it all the time. Put it on a baked sweet potato. It’s sweet potato pecan pie. This recipe isn’t really a very strict one. I am not sure of my measurements, and didn’t calculate the nutrition data for myself. I just figure that the one without honey is about the same as a store bought pecan butter (213 cals/2 TB) and that the one with honey is just a bit higher since I only added 2 tsp of honey in about a cup and half of pecan butter. I tried pistachio butter also and its really yummy too! My problem with that one is that its too salty. I made the mistake of using pre roasted and salted pistachios! sadly a bit too much salt, so I don’t eat it quite as often as my other butters. I will be trying that again. And I want cashew butter too, and macadamia nut butter… the list goes on and on! Either way, whatever nut you like, go make yourself some nut butter! Because it tastes good, and its fun to say “Would you like to taste my nut butter?”

Ingredients

about 2 cups raw pecans

kosher salt to taste

food processor, I think you can use a blender but I wouldn’t want to try.

  • Roast your pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet at 320 for about 10 minutes, or until your nuts are toasty and fragrant. I even like mine to have a few burnt nuts, (not charred, just a bit burnt) it really adds a great depth of  pecan flavor.
  • Put your nuts into the food processor and let it go. The nuts go through several stages in the processor: chunky, chopped, finely ground powder, then a big ball clump, then it smooths out into a nice butter. Mine is usually done in about 10 minutes, but sometimes needs longer to really get the nuts to release their oil and become super smooth like I like it. Some nuts never get that smooth though, so beware of burning out your processors motor! sometimes the machine needs a little break.
  • Anyway, after the butter is all smooth and gooey, add in a bit of salt and whatever else you want. Some people use cinnamon or other spices and honey or maple syrup. Spread the nut butter on whatever you have handy and enjoy! My favorite snack right now is some fresh berries with a drizzle of pecan butter. Heaven.
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    Why is there so little left!! Oh yeah, I ate it all. That thing was full not too long ago…

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    so smooth and yummy

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    Favorite snack. the pecan butter container kinda looks like a creeper back there.

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    74 g blueberries, 83 g raspberries, 1/2 Tb Pecan butter.
    138 cals, 6 g fat, 19 carbs, 9 g fiber, 2 g protein.

(Almost) Paleo Date Paste Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies are never far from my mind. One day while I was checking out (read:stalking) my friends’ diaries on MFP I saw that Cora had been eating oatmeal almond butter cookies. That sounded way too enticing for it to be healthy, so I immediately messaged her to ask what the deal was about these cookies. She sent me the recipe link http://cleaneatsinthezoo.com/index/2013/02/20/peanut-butter-or-almond-butter-oatmeal-cookies/and I checked it out. That is the recipe that inspired mine. They are pretty similar, but I had to try it with date paste since thats been my sweetener project lately. I also changed a few other proportions and added cinnamon, but wanted the flavor to be about the same. The texture was amazing, nice and crumbly crisp with a nice chewy nutty center. mmm. I literally ate 4 cookies as soon as they came out of the oven. I am that cookie crazy. I just had one after my lunch and am trying to resist going for another right now. I might keep messing with the recipe (that is inevitable with me) and try it out with a few different ingredients, but let me tell you, these things are darned addicting and it certainly won’t be my last batch! Image

 

(Almost) Paleo Date Paste Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

yield:35 cookies

nutrition per cookie

calories: 128

fat: 10.4 g

sodium: 58.9 mg

total carbs: 6.9 g

fiber: 2.1 g

sugar: 1.6 g

protein: 3.8 g

ingredients

2 eggs

3 cups almond meal/flour (if you want these to be paleo skip the oats and add an extra cup or so of almond flour)

2 cups old fashioned oats

½ cup coconut oil, melted

½ cup almond butter (or peanut butter if you like that flavor better, any nut butter will work)

2 ½ oz date paste

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder (gluten free, aluminum free)

½ – 1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease two large cookie sheets, or use parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix together dry ingredients: almond meal, oats, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a smaller mixing bowl beat together the eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, date paste and vanilla extract. Then add the wet and dry ingredients together in the large bowl.
  • Either roll cookie dough into balls with your hands and place on cookie sheet or use two spoons and place mounds of dough on the sheets. I tried it both ways and you need to squash the dough down slightly with both methods.
  • Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are cooked through and crisp on the bottom.

My cookies were amazingly delicious, however I had a few notes that I will point out to others. You can taste the salt a lot in these cookies since they are not overwhelmingly sweet. I am thinking about either upping my date paste amount or decreasing my salt on my next batch. I originally used 1 tsp salt but may try a little less next time. Or not, I really loved the way this first batch turned out. Almost like it was salty on purpose. You could almost make this a savory cookie by adding an herb like rosemary or thyme and leaving out the cinnamon. I am thinking of adding raisins next time and leaving the rest of the recipe as is. The raisins will add a pop of sweetness in each bite. Just try it out, see what you think and adjust as needed. Also, if you (like me) enjoy the cookies as they are, do warn people that they are a bit salty and not too sweet before their first bite! My uncle was very surprised when he tasted these without a forewarning! However my mother who is used to my experiments loved these. She’s used to my ‘healthy crap’ as my husband calls it. 😉

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ENJOY!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

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This is such a beautiful bread.

 I know, I know! It’s not fall anymore and therefore the craze for pumpkin is way,waaaaay over! Well spring had sprung, and then it decided to snow 10 inches in Saint Louis over this past weekend. So I decided pumpkin bread was the only solution! Ignore the seasons, just like nature, and make pumpkin bread while the snow falls! I recently bought some all-purpose gluten-free flour in hopes of creating something delicious for my gluten-free friends. I am a gluten-free flour novice and thought that an all-purpose baking blend was as good a choice of flours as any to start with. I am going to venture into others as soon as I use up this bag. Which certainly won’t be long with this recipe around!! I am usually counting every calorie like a miser counts his gold, (think: Scrooge hoarding his gold coins, that’s me, seriously), but I really wanted this bread have a good texture and wasn’t sure how my usual baking method (zero oil, sub greek yogurt) would work with the new flour. I used a bit of coconut oil and holy moly did it turn out great!! I hope you all try this and tell me what you think. Any tips/variations on flours would be helpful too. I would love to do more gluten-free/paleo baking. This may have been my first endeavour, but it certainly won’t be my last!

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C and I, playing in the snow the day after it fell. It had already melted a ton!

Yield: 10 Servings, each 81 grams

Nutrition per serving

Calories: 165.6

Fat: 7.8 g

Sodium: 300 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 20.3 g

Fiber: 3.6 g

Sugars: 5.1 g

Protein: 4.9 g

 

Ingredients

¼ cup coconut oil

½ cup baking stevia

3 whole eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup canned pure pumpkin puree (Libby’s, always)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¾ cup water

4 Tb dry buttermilk

1 ¾ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bobs Red Mill brand)

1 ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¾ tsp kosher salt

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Dry buttermilk is great way to add lightness to your baking recipes.

  •  Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat a loaf pan with coconut oil or non stick spray. I lined the bottom of my pan with parchment so it would come out easily. Worked like a charm.
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    I took this picture after adding the eggs. It was depressing not being able to actually cream sugar and butter, but hey, big calorie and health savings.

    In a large mixing bowl attempt to cream together your stevia and coconut oil. I say attempt because they don’t really cream like butter and sugar would. I used a whisk and did my best.

  • Add in your 3 eggs and vanilla extract and continue whisking.
  • Add in the applesauce, pumpkin puree and water.IMG_4819
  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, dry buttermilk,cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.IMG_4817
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    mix slowly until…

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    voila! batter!

    Combine wet and dry, adding the dry to wet a little at a time.

  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.IMG_4824
  • Bake uncovered for an hour, then test for doneness by piercing with a knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean, its done. If not and it starts browning too fast, tent lightly with aluminum foil. Mine never needed tenting and its total cooking time came to an hour and 13 minutes.
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Ok, I need to make more of this. Right now.

 

Pumpkin is like crack to me. I ate the whole thing (practically by myself!) in about 2 days! I usually freeze any baked good within a day of making them so that they don’t go bad. I couldn’t bring myself to do that to this deliciously dense and moist bread! It looked nothing like a healthy food and I was enthralled! Christian thought it was pretty darned good too and did his part helping me take the whole pan down! It was great straight out of the oven, but even better the next day toasted and spread with coconut oil and honey. Mmmm…bliss. I will warn you that because of its lack of sugar (preservative) it should be refrigerated with a day or so of making to discourage any bacteria from growing.

 

*I thought this bread was wonderful! It was a lot like Starbucks in density, texture, and flavor. Which was exactly what I was going for. However the stevia wasn’t quite up to the sweetness level that I prefer in my pumpkin bread. I am going to try adding a bit of honey or date paste next time I make this. I might also amend the stevia to ¾ of a cup and see how that goes.IMG_4835

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, from Rissa

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 18 Muffins

 

Nutrition

Calories: 99

Fat: 1.8 g

Sodium: 8.7 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 16.9 g

Fiber: 2.3 g

Sugar: 5.9 g

Protein: 3.8 g

 

Ingredients

2 Bananas

½ cup Applesauce

6 oz plain 0% Chobani Greek yogurt

1 cup Water

2 tsp Vanilla/Almond extract

1 ¼ tsp Stevia (the concentrated kind, or use ¼ cup baking Stevia)

2 ½ cups White Whole Wheat Flour

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 Tb Dry Buttermilk

90 g (about 1/2 cup) Chocolate Chips

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 These are mini muffins, and roughly 3 equal one large muffin

  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • Grease muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. You can use muffin liners, but the muffins stick to them and don’t peel off easily because of the low fat content.
  • Mix up wet ingredients.
  • Mix up dry ingredients.
  • Gently incorporate/fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Try not to over mix, just fold intil you don’t see any more flour streaks.
  • Spoon batter into the muffin tins.
  • Put muffins into the 425° oven and reduce heat to 400°.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

 

These muffins are so darn yummy! They are great as is, but you can also switch the flavorings and make them however you want. Leave out the chocolate chips and add in other things such as lemon extract and 1 cup blueberries, orange zest and 1 cup cranberries, 1 cup shredded carrots and carrot cake spices, 1 cup pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices (leave out one banana or it might be too wet). They are good in all these forms, I know, I’ve tried them all! You can also leave out ¼ cup of the flour and substitute ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa and make them chocolate muffins! I’d love to try a double chocolate muffin next. I also might try and experiment with some other flours that are gluten free. That’s on my list of to-do’s for this week!

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My very own Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats and Date Paste

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrition

Calories: 205.3

Fat: 4.3 g

Sodium: 75.6 mg

Total Carbs: 44.3 g

Fiber: 6.8 g

Sugar: 8.9 g

Protein: 5.9 g

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Ingredients

½ cup dry Old Fashioned Oats

½ cup unsweetened Almond Milk

50 g diced apple, about ¼ medium apple, mine were Honey crisps

¼ tsp Vanilla

¼ tsp Cinnamon

¼ oz Date Paste, about 1 ½ tsp

Mix all ingredients except apples together in an airtight container, I used little canning jars. Place the apples on top and seal. Put the oats in the refrigerator over night and voila! Next morning a delightful breakfast awaits! If you want you can always substitute Stevia or Splenda for the date paste, I just am trying out a new form of sweetener. And I love dates. I served my oats this morning with a little bit of vanilla protein powder for extra protein. It.was.amazing.

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Date Paste

Yield: 9 oz total

Nutrition per ounce

Calories: 62.2

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 0.9 mg

Total Carbs: 14.6 g

Fiber: 1.6 g

Sugar: 13 g

Protein: 0.4 g

 

Ingredients

183 g (1 cup?) Dates,  Medjool are recommended, but I used Deglet and they’re great. And cheaper.

Water

Small canning jar

Put your dates into the canning jar, packing in the dates to the top. Cover with water, put on the lid and place in fridge and let soak for 24-48 hours. Take your dates and water (Do not Discard!) and place in your blending device of choice. Since the dates are pretty tough even after soaking I chose my hand blenders mini food processor option. You can use anything that will blend up the dates. Blend! I pulsed mine and scraped down the sides of the bowl a few times to get everything nicely incorporated. If your dates are very tough or you don’t want to soak them I would suggest measuring them and the water out and heating them up in a small saucepan until they’re tender enough to blend. Once the dates are blended up I re-measured mine to see how many ounces it made, then put the date paste back into the jar for storage. Put it in the fridge and use in whatever you want! I will be using mine mostly in baking and oatmeal/oats. I am also planning on using some to sweeten my granola I’ll be making in the next few days. I will probably thin it out with water before mixing it in with the granola. I’ll let you all know how that goes!

Crockpot Steelcut Oats

Holy easy and tasty recipe! You may notice that I love things that I can eat for breakfast and also things I can make ahead of time. When these are combined it’s a happy day in my book! I have seen a million recipes for crock pot steel cut oats and one night decided to finally try my hand at this. Turns out, it’s ridiculously easy! Pour ingredients into crock-pot, turn it on, let it cook on high for an hour and a half, turn it off, (Do not open the lid to smell!) go to bed and in the morning, bam. Delicious steel cut oats without having to stir them for 20 minutes (which feels like an eternity if you’re hungry and tired and still waking up with coffee in hand. No? Is that only me?).

Crockpot Steelcut Oats

Yield: 4 Servings ~240 grams (each batch varies depending on exactly how much water was absorbed and if you added any extras, but mine is always plain and doesn’t change much)

Nutrition

Calories: 182

Fat: 3.6 g

Sodium: 41.2 mg

Total Carbs: 30 g

Fiber: 5.6 g

Sugar: 0.3

Protein: 7.3 g

Ingredients

1 cup Steel Cut Oats

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

3 cups Water

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

*1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Hersheys, Ghirardellis) I dont always use this, but its tasty and adds about 1 calorie.

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*You can certainly add sweetener before you cook it if you like. Since Christian and I both eat these oats I like to leave them plain and sweeten them before I serve them. I use stevia or splenda and he gets date paste. I used to use brown sugar for him, but I’m trying to use more natural, unprocessed ingredients. The date paste is so yummy so occasionally I use it too, for a treat. I made that from scratch and will include how I did it in my next post.

Put all ingredients and any extras you want (chopped apples, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter) in a crock pot on high. Cover and let it cook for an hour and a half. Turn the crock pot off, go to bed and wake up to breakfast. Now if only I could get someone to serve it to me in bed…IMG_4624